* Use our [intlink id="482" type="page"]Special Services Request Page[/intlink] to reserve your special service request, if the service that you want isn’t listed above. We’ll search for free, and personally notify you of the results.
We’re hard at work, looking for new services and new Service Providers. We’ll continue to introduce you to our high quality resources, and the talented people who provide them. Gold Membership is your guarantee that the Disability Know-It-All has screened and interviewed your Service Provider, and that s/he is actively participating in the company's free educational program.
Your Carpenter, Physical Disability, And Your Home
If something is made of wood, a carpenter will build it or fix it: closets, ramps, stairs, handrails, furniture, cabinets, moldings, panels, decks, doors, floor, ceilings, porches, and fences…the list is almost endless. Carpenters work independently, or as part of a team that includes tradesmen such as plumbers and electricians.
During pre-construction and re-modeling, carpenters can have an important role in the creation of a comfortable home that is comfortably managed by a person with disability. Principles of universal design frequently guide carpenters and other tradesmen in the design of attractive and functional homes. The term “universal design” was introduced by American architect Ronald L. Mace. The concepts became internationally recognized when the first edition of Selwyn Goldsmith’s “Designing for the Disabled” was published in England in 1963. Universal designers create environments and products for all people, regardless of their disability status.
The following ideas, which involve the use of a carpenter, have been helpful to people with physical disabilities as they construct or re-model their homes:
- A one story house, with a possible second story for flexible use of space
- Consideration of plans for an elevator if house has basement or a second story
- One or more entrances to a home that do not require steps
- A covered entrance way
- Location of a full bathroom with one or more bedrooms, a kitchen and entertainment area on a single, ground level floor
- Level floors with non-slip flooring such as vinyl, cork or mosaic tiles with a matte finish
- Bathrooms that have sufficient room to accommodate use of a wheelchair, and space for a wheelchair underneath sinks and vanities
- Pre-fabricated curb-less showers for use with wheelchair
- Pre-fabricated walk in bath tubs
- Retro-fitted tub liners with attached safety features
- Grab bars for showers, tubs and toilets and elsewhere
- Wall-mounted shower seat
- Adjustable slide-bar shower head
- Use of decorative grab bars for towel racks
- Adhesive slips on tub and shower floors for traction
- Non-slip finish over pre-existing ceramic tiles in bathroom for traction
- Reverse hinges on bathroom and shower doors so that doors swing outward, making it easier and faster for a caretaker to help in case of an accident
- Swing -clear hinges on doors for extra space
- Wide doors that will accommodate a standard transportwheelchair, with lever style door handles
- Wide hallways that will accommodate a wheelchair of a size appropriate to the person using it
- Installation of cabinets with shelves of adjustable height and D-shaped cabinet pulls or magnetic latches
- Removal and re-positioning of cabinets with D-shaped cabinet pulls or magnetic latches
- Motion sensor, single lever faucets for sinks in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry
- Lowered, multi-level kitchen counter-tops with space for a wheelchair underneath
- Raised dishwasher
- Pull-out shelves and lazy susans in cabinets
- Lower oven with door that opens on the side
- Side-by-side refrigerator with shelves that roll out
- Shelves of adjustable heights in closets, laundry and garage
- Lowered window sills, easy to lift and close
- Ramp leading to a deck
Carpet, Upholstery, and Rug Cleaning
Carpets, Disability, and Your Home
People with disabilities live in homes where materials are often exposed to extra wear and tear from the use of medical equipment and visits from friends, medical professionals, and caretakers. Upholstered furniture, rugs and carpets will all look better and last longer when they are properly cleaned. A clean house is also a healthier house.
An antique rug, passed through the generations, may have great emotional and financial value, while the only “valuables” on the acrylic playroom rug are the children. Regardless of the cost of the material, rugs, carpets and upholstery need the same careful attention as the rest of your home. Stains, mold, dust and dirt should be removed, and material sanitized. Cushions that are covered in fabric or leather need to be lifted from their spots on sofas, chairs and ottomans. Folds needs to be exposed in silk, linen, cotton, suede, microfiber or wool fabric. Crevices in furniture need to be examined. Clean materials are safe as well as attractive.
Choice of materials may be impacted by disability issues. Pads, for example, are critical choices because people with disabilities are more likely to fall. Because of vulnerability to falls, carpeting may be a safer choice for people with disabilities than rugs. An experienced professional will not only clean your materials, but offer you guidance in their selection and maintenance. Make certain to communicate your circumstances and your concerns.
Different fabrics have different fibers and, therefore, different cleaning requirements. A professional cleaner knows the difference between wool and synthetic materials, between knots and fringes that are applied by hand or machine. A professional cleaner can distinguish between Indian, Persian, Turkish, Tibetan rugs. Most importantly, a professional cleaner knows the appropriate cleaning techniques, and the proper methods for drying. Persian rugs, for example, should be dried in the sun
Professional cleaners can repair material that is damaged by water---a spilled glass of bedside water, or major damage from a flood.
There are vast differences between materials. Some materials require nothing more than steam-cleaning at home, or dry-cleaning. Other materials need to be removed from the home and hand cleaned. Professional cleaners can guide you in choices ---vacuuming and rotation techniques, humidity, pads---that protect your materials and your pocketbook.
Cleaning: Individual / Crew
Electricians, Disability, And Your Home
Electricians literally light up your home and make it hum! They install the wires that power your electrical appliances, illuminate your rooms when you touch a switch, and adjust the temperatures when your house feels too warm or cold.
Electricians are licensed professionals. Guided by the National Electrical Code (NEC) and regulatory requirements, electricians are responsible for the safety of their electrical pathways.
It is important for a homeowner to be aware of an electrician’s credentials, including licensure. The U.S. Fire Administration reported that electrical problems caused 26,000 fires in the country between September 11, 2011-September 11, 2012. These fires resulted in 82 fatalities and almost 1 billion dollars in property loss. 3 of the people who died in these electrical fires were reported to have disabilities. The role that disability played in their deaths is unclear, but emphasizes the need for emergency preparedness in all homes. Special provisions need to be anticipated in the homes of people with disability.
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems (HVAC/R)
Maintenance: All Materials
Your Plumber, Physical Disability, And Your Home
Plumbers install pipes and other equipment so that substances such as water and gas can move from one place in your home to another, and waste material can be removed. Plumbers work independently, or as part of a team that can include architects, carpenters, electricians and other tradesmen. Licensure is required for plumbers in many states, and an additional license may be necessary if a plumber works with gas. A plumber’s work is guided by government code standards and by the requirements of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
Plumbers maintain the pipes that power furnaces, stoves, and other appliances that use gas to function. These pipes conduct heat in your home during the winter,and cool air during the summer. Without the skilled work of plumbers, your water would be cold or contain waste material. You might turn a faucet and find it dry. Plumbers connect the pipes that bring clean water to your kitchens and bathrooms, and remove sewage from your home.
Plumbers have been instrumental in sanitation improvements, and these improvements are reflected in good health and prolonged life. Adequate sanitation is one of the primary reasons that contagious disease is no longer prevalent. During the past century, American life span has increased approximately 30 years. Yet, despite the central role of sanitation in good health, the bathroom is also a perilous place. Most home accidents occur in the bathroom because of wet surfaces. Falls are the greatest source of accidental death in people below the age of 65, and people with disabilities are especially vulnerable to falls.
Plumbers are helpful to people with physical disabilities for reasons other than sanitation and physical safety. Through the application of universal design, plumbers can create access to sanitation within environments that promote independence and personal dignity. The features of universal design reflect the belief that attractive, accessible environments can be designed in a cost effective manner, and used by all people--- with and without disabilities. The philosophy of universal design, first developed in the United States and England during the 1950’s-1960’s, is supported by decades of successful experience. The concepts of universal design have become increasing relevant as populations age in industrialized societies, develop disability, and choose to remain at home.
The list below contains elements of bathroom design that people with physical disabilities have found to be helpful in newly constructed homes and in homes that are retro-fitted:
- Wide bathroom doors with swing-clear hinges for wheelchair access, or
- Reversed hinges on bathroom doors and shower doors for easier access by caretaker
- Sufficient interior width in bathrooms to accommodate use of a standard/ transport wheelchair and transfer seat/bench
- Walk-in tubs with outward swing doors and safety faucets located within reach, or
- Standard/ customized tub liners retro-fitted with attached safety features, or
- Retro-fitted bathtubs or showers with grab bars and bathing chair or attached seat/bench
- Water controls located outside of tub and shower to adjust temperature and flow of water
- Hand held shower head or slide-bar shower head near tub/shower seat for washing
- Pull-out sprayer from sink
- Sinks and vanities with open clearance underneath for wheelchair
- Motion sensor, single lever sink faucets with scald-guard and volume control
- Grab bars installed on curb-less tub and shower surfaces, near accessible toilet/bidet, and elsewhere
- Bidet to enhance cleaning for people with limited mobility including use of arms and hands
- Gas sensor located near water heater furnace , and cook top
- Vent fan to decrease risk of slipping from moisture
- Linen cabinets with accessible shelves and D-shaped pulls
Decks / Ramps
Gifts & Flowers
Hair Stylist - Barber
Seamstress & Tailor
Alarm Services For Home And Other Property
Attorney & Notaries
Home Health Equipment
Clothing, Accessories, Shoes, and All Other Needs
Groceries and Supplies
Holiday Shopping and Delivery
Home Appliances and Furnishings
Last Minute Needs!